SEL Awardee

Marcus Harden

ACE Atlanta
The Academy for Creating Excellence Atlanta
Atlanta, GA
“The Universal Excellence Program (UE) is a hands-on and real-world application program that will expose and immerse African American young men in the 7th, 8th, 11th and 12th grades into the education profession. UE aims to address the national shortage of African American Male teachers in the education profession through early exposure, intentional recruitment, mindset, and skills building. The UE program is rooted in the fundamental beliefs that African American young men already possess innately the abilities and skills to become viable world citizens, set apart from the standard of whiteness. Concurrently UE believes that waiting until college or post-graduate studies to identify the pedagogical characteristics of being an excellent educator such as critical thinking, compassion, problem-solving skills, and cultural awareness is far too late to recruit our young men into the profession. Young men in the UE will create sustainable change through their immersion into the educational profession in the future and the present by becoming advocates of and for their educational journey as well as their communities. Lastly, UE students will have the mind and skillsets to reimagine the notion of what "schooling" has become and be able to redefine not just black male excellence, but excellence in education within this new paradigm of education.”
Tags: Boys and Young Men of Color, Charter School, Middle School, Teacher, Urban